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Clearing the Path For the Stinky, Sticky, Beloved Superfood of Japan: NYrture Natto | food. curated.

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    ♪ (meditative calm music) ♪
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    (Ann Yonetani) It's true that natto
    has this very unique gooey, sticky texture
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    but to me that's fun!
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    You know, it's interesting.
    (laughter)
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    It's something to talk about.
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    Natto truly is the Japanese cheese.
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    It's a vegan version
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    of a really complex, umami-rich,
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    like washed rind cheese.
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    And yeah, many cheese lovers
    really enjoy natto
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    and see that parallel in flavor profile.
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    It's a food that I feel like
    more people need to have access to
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    because I think that
    can benefit a lot of people
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    by incorporating it into their diets.
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    Hi, my name is Ann Yonetani,
    I'm the founder and owner of NYrture Food
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    which makes natto in Brooklyn, New York.
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    Natto is really a ubiquitous food,
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    an everyday food that's most commonly
    eaten for breakfast.
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    Yes, I feel like I have sort of taken on
    the mission of being a cheerleader,
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    a spokesperson,
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    an evangelist for natto in America.
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    And it really is because I truly believe
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    that natto is just so special,
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    so unique...
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    I think if there's any food on earth
    that deserves to be called a superfood
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    is natto.
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    ♪ (slow piano music) ♪
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    It's good.
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    In a weird way, I'm an urban farmer,
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    an urban micro farmer.
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    I grow bacteria,
    and those bacteria eat soybeans,
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    and they help me produce natto.
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    Yeah, I'm a nerd.
    (laughter)
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    This is day one of
    Nyrture's natto-making-process.
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    Every batch starts with this step,
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    which is me hand-sorting
    through the beans.
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    I kind of love this step--
    I love this step and I hate this step
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    but there's something very meditative
    about the process
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    and our beans are beautiful,
    I mean, they're so clean,
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    you know, 99.9% of them look fantastic.
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    I'd like to think that
    every single natto bean we sell
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    has passed underneath my eyes.
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    I'm a microbiologist, actually,
    that's how I got into this business,
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    just being fascinated by
    the power of the microbial world.
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    I'm interested in how consuming
    some of these good bacterias,
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    these probiotic-types of bacteria
    in the form of fermented food
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    has that impact in human health.
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    Our first products--
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    So those little white dots
    are actually chemically-pure umami taste.
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    There is written documentation
    describing natto for over a 1000 years.
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    In the West and in America
    is virtually unknown.
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    It makes me think that if more adults
    will come to natto with just an open mind,
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    a lot more of them might find
    that they actually like it. (chuckles)
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    This might be excessive
    but I wash them ten times,
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    you know, soak them, entertain them,
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    and then, dump out the water.
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    And then, they sit in the bath overnight,
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    so that the beans are able to hydrate.
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    They will swell to over twice
    their weight and volume.
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    When I first learned how to make natto
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    from a fifth-generation
    natto-maker in Tokio,
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    he told me that the most important step
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    was to choose the best beans you could
    to start with,
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    and he was right.
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    The best natto soybeans in America
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    are grown in the northern midwest,
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    mostly in North Dakota.
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    And something that
    a lot of people don't realize
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    is that most of the natto
    that is made in the world,
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    i.e. the natto that is made
    and sold in Japan,
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    it's actually, most of it,
    is made from US-grown soy,
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    and the bulk for that, also,
    from North Dakota, specifically.
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    We also have black soybeans
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    and then, we have another brown bean
    which is certified organic.
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    Natto soybeans are very different
    from the typical commodity soybean.
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    That's their non-GMO certified definition.
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    But soybeans that are used to make natto
    by any decent natto-maker
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    are really beans that have been
    carefully selected over generations
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    to be ideal for this particular
    fermentation process.
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    ♪ (music) ♪
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    What makes Nyrture's natto unique:
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    Our natto is fresh,
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    it's never been frozen,
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    unlike all the natto
    that is imported from Japan--
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    it's frozen before export.
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    That's important,
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    one, because freezing and thawing food
    can really affect its taste and texture,
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    but two, if people are motivated
    by eating natto for its health benefits,
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    freezing and thawing,
    also, significantly damage
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    those health benefits, as well.
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    (Liza) How is it?
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    Good, they're nice and soft,
    has some sugar to it, it's sweet...
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    It has at least three
    completely unique properties
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    that are unlike any other food on earth.
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    Number one, it's probiotic.
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    It's fermented with Bacillus subtilis,
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    which is a member
    of the healthy gut microbiome,
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    so it's a probiotic bacteria
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    that isn't found in any other
    fermented food certainly in the West.
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    The second one is that
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    natto is the most concentrated
    food source of vitamin K2
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    of any food on earth,
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    and it beats any other
    by an order of magnitude.
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    Vitamin K2 is essential for bone health
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    but it's also very important
    for cardiovascular health.
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    It doesn't matter
    how much calcium you eat,
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    if you don't have enough vitamin K2
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    to help recruit it out of your bloodstream
    and bring it to to your bones,
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    it accumulates and causes
    arterial calcification,
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    and leads to heart disease.
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    The third reason is that
    there's an enzyme named after natto;
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    it's called nattokinase,
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    and this enzyme is
    a natural blood thinner.
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    It has an enzymatic activity which,
    actually, has been shown
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    to be capable of
    breaking down blood clots,
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    and the only natural source of it
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    is natto.
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    Well, there are some cardiologists
    who are starting to promote natto.
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    We're really hoping to work
    with healthcare providers
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    to educate them and help them
    educate their patients.
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    Whether your reason is the vitamin K2,
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    or the nattokinase content,
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    or the probiotics,
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    why not at least give it a try
    and eat the food which is,
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    one, delicious, I think,
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    two, cheaper than taking a pill,
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    and three, you get all three
    of these benefits at once.
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    They sit here and age and acquire
    flavors in a week or so.
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    Many Japanese people have told me
    that our natto is the most delicious natto
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    that they've ever had
    either here or even in Japan,
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    which is great to hear.
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    I've also gone to
    the National Natto Competition in Japan
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    and met many natto producers from Japan,
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    and also have gotten very high praise
    from natto producers in Japan.
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    ♪ (exciting music) ♪
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    I think the favorite moment of mine
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    in the entire week-long-process
    of making the natto
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    is that moment after the fermentation
    is complete
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    when I get to just pull back the film
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    on a fresh tray of natto
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    and just see that neba-neba stickiness,
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    those spiderwebs
    sort of coming off the beans--
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    And sort of, the more resistance
    I have from those strings,
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    the better I know the fermentation is,
    the better the natto,
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    so it also serves as a quality control
    assessment at the same time,
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    but I love that feeling
    of the biofilm resisting my pull.
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    (laughter)
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    ♪ (exciting music) ♪
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    So yeah, we really look at this
    as a long game
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    and we're at the very beginning
    of it right now
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    but I suspect it may take 10 years,
    maybe 20 years,
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    for natto to become known enough
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    for people to recognize it
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    as a thing, as a food.
    (chuckles)
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    It'll take a while and a lot of education,
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    and exposure like this,
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    to just spread the word.
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    ♪ (gentle music) ♪
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    Our logo... many people
    comment on our logo.
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    It's actually a mathematical function,
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    it's a Fermat's spiral
    or a parabolical spiral,
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    and I love it because at the center of it
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    it kind of look like a ying-yang symbol,
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    and to me it represents
    the two ingredients in our food,
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    the soybean and the probiotic bacteria,
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    that are coming together and synergizing
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    and making something better,
    bigger, more beautiful
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    than the two components alone.
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    ♪ (outro music) ♪
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    Subtitles by Jenny Lam-Chowdhury
    www.eatingwithmyfivesenses.com
Titel:
Clearing the Path For the Stinky, Sticky, Beloved Superfood of Japan: NYrture Natto | food. curated.
Beschreibung:

Meet Ann Yonetani, the founder/owner and microbiologist behind NYrture New York Natto, an artisanal Japanese natto maker located in Brooklyn, NY. If there's one thing that gets Ann excited, it's bacteria. Ask her about it and her face lights up, she adjusts her glasses, her body settles more comfortably in her chair. She could talk for hours about the microbial worlds that symbiotically live inside us and all around us, a passion that both challenges and fascinates her. Not surprisingly, Ann sees herself as a bacteria farmer more than a natto maker (a distinction I find endlessly charming). By cultivating a healthy environment for growing good bacteria, her soybeans actively ferment into the superfood Japanese call: natto. A food jam-packed with nutrients and health/wellness benefits. This is where her evangelism begins.

To Ann's knowledge, only 3-4 small companies make natto in America, a very tiny market compared to Japan where natto is ubiquitous. Walk into any supermarket or corner store in Japan, you'll easily find over a dozen options for natto. It's a savory morning ritual there, traditionally eaten over warm rice often mixed with soy sauce or a raw egg and scallions. "A power breakfast food," Ann explains "their version of a protein shake or acai bowl." But unfortunately, in America, natto has little exposure. It hasn't reached the popularity of Japanese ramen or sushi. Ann wants to change that.

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Video Language:
English
Team:
Eating With My Five Senses
Projekt:
Food. Curated.
Duration:
12:30

Untertitel in English

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